[OS X TeX] Who should use (La)TeX - who is able to use it?

Enrico Riboni eriboni at ozone.ch
Mon Nov 15 10:36:25 EST 2004

Le 14 nov. 04, à 14:21, Arno Kruse a écrit :

> Dear members of the list,
> For years I read the articles which are announced in this list with 
> great interest; I got  many suggestions and a lot of help - please 
> accept my best thanks.
> But during the last months a worrying feeling was arising more and 
> more, especially when reading the lot of sometimes extremely 
> complicated questions and answers: Is a "normal" user generally 
> capable to use  LaTeX?
> A "normal" user:
> I simply think of a person without absorbed interest in:
> 	operating systems;
> 	typographical rules;
> 	installing questions;
> 	learning commands;
> 	and so on.
> A "normal" person, using w… or a comparable WYSIWYG-program.

I confess I slightly disagree. There are things which are easy to do 
and use, and others which require some learning. Personally I spent 
much more time learning skiing than learning LaTeX. Now one might argue 
that learning skiing is not OK for the average person who can start 
right away walking on the snow. It is just a question for each person 
to decide wether the effort to learn is greater or smaller than the 
rewards for the skills aquired, and this is a very individual question. 
We all have some fields or skills we did not learn because we thought 
the effort was larger than the reward. With text processing it is the 
same: some find the balance of learning LaTeX positive for their very 
own situation, others do not. IMHO the "normal user" who does not use 
LaTeX would be perfectly capable of using it after some studying or 
training, but she has choosen not to, and it is OK.

Enrico Riboni

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